Grand Challenges Africa

laboratory tests

Oversight for GC Africa is currently provided by the AESA Partners Group (PG) and AESA’s Independent Strategic and Scientific Advisory Board (ISSAB).

The scheme seeks to promote Africa-led scientific innovations to help countries better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by  awarding seed and full grants to the continent’s most impressive solutions.

AESA implements GC Africa in partnership with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Funding Opportunities

Our Grantees

News and Events



GC Africa has been set up to:

  • Support existing Grand Challenges grantees in Africa who have been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges, Grand Challenges Canada and Grand Challenges for Development USAID.
  • Raise awareness of the Grand Challenges funding model in Africa.
  • Define and set the agenda and priorities for future Grand Challenges in health and other development challenges in Africa.
  • Develop, launch and manage Africa-specific Grand Challenges grants independently and/or with partners targeted at helping African countries to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Support the innovation pipeline from discovery to scaling and commercialisation

GC Africa principles

  • Strategic and well-articulated grand challenges will serve both to focus research efforts and to engage Africa’s best innovators.
  • Projects will be selected based on public, transparent calls for proposals seeking the best ideas.
  • Funders, investigators, and other stakeholders will actively collaborate and integrate advances to ensure these advances serve those most in need.
  • Projects will be selected not only for scientific excellence, but also for their likelihood to achieve the desired impact. They must be milestone-driven and actively managed to that end.
  • Projects and investigators will make access commitments to ensure the fruits of their research are available to those most in need.


Oversight for GC Africa is currently provided by the AESA Partners Group (PG) and AESA’s Independent Strategic and Scientific Advisory Board (ISSAB).

ISSAB provides advice on AESA’s scientific direction, strategy, operations to the AESA Director, AAS Executive Director and funding partners on an adhoc basis. ISSAB will also evaluate the GC Africa’s activities, specifically its contribution to promoting innovation in Africa.